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Westboro Defections and Cultish Appearances

By February 10, 2013

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The Westboro Baptist Church is arguably a dangerous cult.  They are a small, tight knit, isolated group which sees the rest of the world as waging a war against them and God  They don't tolerate dissenting opinions.  On the other hand, they don't seem to be making threatening moves toward defectors.

This week, two granddaughters of leader Fred Phelps (and daughters of Shirley Phelps-Roper, Fred's intended successor) officially left the WBC, apologizing for the pain they had caused others when operating with the WBC.  Today, another former member released pictures supporting the NOH8 (no hate) campaign.

When people talk of deeply devout religious beliefs, particularly unpopular ones, people often speak of "brainwashing."  Certainly these women were brought up strongly exposed to these beliefs.  But that is the same for any child: their parents makes sure the children believe in certain things, whether it be about religion, correct behavior, how math works, whatever.  People do tend to embrace what they were raised to believe, but people *do* change their mind.  These women did. So have others previously, including Phelps' son.

Everyone makes a choice.  The members of the WBC choose to continue their ministry of hate.  These three women, however, eventually choose to leave.  The decided that this was not, in fact, the proper way of expressing their Christian beliefs.

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